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The covid impact
The COVID-19 set off one of the largest collective projects in business history in managing organizational change, when it forced companies to shift everyone who could work offsite to their homes.
And just as in any massive organizational change effort, employers and employees have seen both benefits and challenges in this new way of working.
The migration to remote work has been dramatic. New TCS research on 287 organizations in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific (97% with at least $1 billion in annual revenue) found remote work is likely to prevail in the immediate future. The average organization had 64% of its employees working primarily from home in July—seven times the number in March, just prior to the pandemic. By 2025, these organizations on average projected 40% of their employees would operate mainly from home.
The study and predictions lead us to believe that a substantial percentage of employees in many large organizations will largely work from home permanently. At TCS, we look at this as a new beginning. The Secure Borderless WorkspacesTM approach has paved the way for 25 by 25 vision—by 20252, only 25% of TCS workforce will work out of TCS facilities at any time, with associates spending only 25% of their time in the office.
Making remote work
A key question for leaders of these organizations is this: How can they make remote work more productive and engaging for employees in the new work order?
In our experience, the answers lie in the commitments that organizations and leaders make to remote workers. A major part of that commitment is the support they provide to keep employees productive and engaged with what is going on in the organization, while equipping them with the latest technology tools and state of the art security systems.
But the technical requirements are only part of these commitments. Organizations must also help employees strike the right work-life balance—as the lines become increasingly blurred.
In this article, I will go more in depth on the benefits of remote work, the challenges to making that work productive and the support that companies must provide to make this new beginning successful for employees and the workplaces.
Rethinking Talent: During the Pandemic, and After
Providing the right communication and collaboration tools that a distributed workforce can’t succeed without is a given in the new paradigm.
The challenges of leading global organizations and teams have been elevated due to the sudden disruption caused by the pandemic. It has made it much harder for globally dispersed teams to be in synch and keep the workforce productive, enthusiastic and proud of the jobs they are doing. But the challenges extend beyond promoting a purposeful esprit de corps. Providing the right communications and collaboration tools that a distributed workforce can’t succeed without is a given in the new paradigm.
Talent practices have to be re-imagined in order to build and sustain a strong culture and a sense of belonging. This will be the key to success going forward. Creating and nurturing the virtual talent ecosystem, for recruiting and onboarding, along with exciting opportunities for employees internally to learn, enhance their skills and grow will provide employees and organizations with new opportunities for growth and transformation.
What will ultimately determine the success of these work-from-home initiatives?
How can large organizations greatly increase the chances to remain as productive—or even become more productive—with large numbers of employees working remotely?
And while doing so, how can they keep their valued talent tethered to their organization? We see five core elements to excellence in managing remote talent: